‘Emotionally immature’ Condren not fit to be lord mayor
LABOR lord mayoral candidate Patrick Condren has been accused of bizarre and crude behaviour and lacking the emotional maturity for Brisbane's top job, in a withering attack by former LNP opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek.
Mr Langbroek claimed Condren was "a juvenile trapped in a man's body" who had made crass sexual gestures at him during press conferences, when the aspiring lord mayor worked as a television journalist.
The accusations came as a video circulated of Mr Condren joking to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that she was "lucky" he "put any trousers on at all" during a hot and humid 2017 election campaign visit to Cairns. Mr Langbroek said Mr Condren was "not emotionally mature enough'' to be Lord Mayor.
"I saw the recent story where former premier Campbell Newman spoke about the suitability - or lack of suitability, more specifically - of Patrick to be Lord Mayor,'' Mr Langbroek said.
"He invited others to come forward with examples of behaviour that is not befitting of that role. Well, in my experience, he's not the right person ... When I was Opposition Leader, I saw a side of Patrick that, frankly, concerned me.
"At press conferences, on at least a dozen occasions, he would routinely stroke a woolly TV microphone, simulating masturbation. He became quite good at it … I guess practice makes perfect."
Mr Condren said yesterday his battle for the lord mayoralty was with Adrian Schrinner, not Mr Langbroek. When invited to comment on the specifics of the allegations, Mr Condren declined, but he did later point out that Mr Langbroek himself was forced to apologise for a rude hand gesture in Parliament in 2016.
Mr Langbroek, a veteran Surfers Paradise MP, said he was sure others had witnessed the antics.
"I don't know what he was trying to do. Maybe put me off my lines, I'm not sure,'' he said.
"But I felt as opposition leader, which is a pretty important job, his actions showed a lack of respect - not to me personally as such, I'm a big boy - but to the position itself. I understand he never did it to then-premier Anna Bligh. She can correct me if I'm wrong on that. To suggest it was juvenile … well, I'm not sure a teenage boy would do that sort of thing."
Mr Langbroek's comments came as two videos circulated online of Mr Condren on election campaign buses. One involved Mr Condren and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk where she spoke about the hot weather and the fact Condren, then reporting for Channel 7, was wearing boardshorts.
"So here were are in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, and it's good to see that some of our fine, distinguished journalists are even dressed appropriately,'' Ms Palaszczuk said on the video. When the camera panned to Condren he replied: "I tell you what, Premier, given the heat and humidity up here you're lucky I put any trousers on at all."
Mr Langbroek's comments follow those of Mr Newman, who also alleged Mr Condren had on occasion acted inappropriately in his job as a TV reporter - allegations emphatically denied by Mr Condren, who was parachuted in by Labor after the party dumped candidate Rod Harding.
"I saw and heard of repeated instances of inappropriate behaviour by Condren in his dealings with politicians, political staffers and his own media colleagues,'' Mr Newman said.